Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that our body can produce itself, but for that we need sunlight. In Northwestern Europe, the intensity of sunlight from September to May is not strong enough. In this period, especially in winter, taking vitamin D is not an unnecessary luxury.
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D is important for strong bones and teeth, it promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and it plays a role in maintaining muscle function and strength. Do you feel tired and listless? Do you suffer from joint and muscle pain, including cramps and tremors? Or do you experience hyperventilation or panic attacks? If so, you may be deficient in vitamin D. There is a chance of this as we go out less in winter and the sun in Northwestern Europe is not strong enough. In addition, vitamin D deficiency is also linked to depression, infections and cancer.
Vitamin D in winter
The body only produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Often you are wearing clothing and SPF skincare products that block the sunlight. How much vitamin D you produce depends on your age, your skin colour and the season. Older skin produces less than younger skin and darker skin produces less than lighter skin. Women over 50 years, men over 60 years and people of colour or with dark skin are a group at risk of vitamin D deficiency. For people with light skin, the sun’s rays in the Northwestern Europe are intense enough from March to October, provided you get outside enough.
Vitamin D supplement
The answer? Almost everyone can benefit from an extra dose of vitamin D in winter. Vitamin D is part of our diet: it occurs naturally in fatty fish, such as mackerel, herring and salmon. Furthermore, there is vitamin D in full-fat dairy products, real butter, egg yolks and fatty meat. The most important source of vitamin D is sunlight, but because the intensity of the sun in the Netherlands is not strong enough, it is a good idea to take vitamin D in the form of a supplement.
Did you know that vitamn D can’t be metabolised in the body without sufficient magnesium levels? Read the article here.